Croydon self-storage warehouse destroyed in blaze

Scene of fire Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption At its height, about 120 firefighters tackled the blaze in Purley Way, Croydon

A self-storage warehouse has been destroyed in a blaze with many people facing the loss of their belongings.

Dozens of firefighters are continuing to tackle the fire at the unit in south London.

At its height on New Year’s Eve, the whole of the four-storey warehouse in Purley Way, Croydon, was ablaze, with up to 120 firefighters tackling it.

The BBC understands the building is a Shurgard unit and the belongings inside have been completely destroyed.

About 70 firefighters remain at the scene as the fire, which has been contained, continues to burn. No one has been hurt in the blaze.

Graham Ellis, assistant commissioner of London Fire Brigade, said it was “challenging” to contain the fire.

“Self-storage units are generally full of items like furniture which when packed tightly provide a lot of materials to burn and so these sorts of incidents tend to create large fires that burn hard for a long time, creating a lot of smoke,” he said.

“Firefighters have worked hard to ensure that while the fire is burning, it is contained and won’t spread to nearby buildings.”

At the scene: Greg McKenzie, BBC London

Image caption Firefighters have been at the scene since about 20:00 on Monday

This is a huge blaze which has reduced the building to just a shell.

And hours later, the fire is still burning.

Many people who have belongings stored in the building have come here and are visibly upset because, ultimately, they’ve lost everything.

Image copyright John Warren
Image caption Firefighters said tightly-packed possessions make fires in self-storage units difficult to control

Local residents have been warned to keep windows and doors shut, with drivers urged to avoid the area after roads were closed.

The brigade was called at 19:47 GMT on New Year’s Eve and at the fire’s peak, 20 fire engines and about 120 firefighters were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.


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